Use Enhanced For Loop Syntax With Caution

The enhanced for loop (also sometimes known as "for-each" loop) can be used for collections that implement the Iterable interface. With these objects, an iterator is allocated to make interface calls to hasNext() and next(). With an ArrayList, you're better off walking through it directly, but for other collections the enhanced for loop syntax will be equivalent to explicit iterator usage.

Nevertheless, the following code shows an acceptable use of the enhanced for loop:

public class Foo { int mSplat;

for (int i = 0; i < mArray.length; i++) { sum += mArray[i].mSplat;

Foo[] localArray = mArray; int len = localArray.length;

for (int i = 0; i < len; i++) { sum += localArray[i].mSplat;

public static void two() { int sum = 0; for (Foo a: mArray) { sum += a.mSplat;

zero() retrieves the static field twice and gets the array length once for every iteration through the loop. one() pulls everything out into local variables, avoiding the lookups.

two() uses the enhanced for loop syntax introduced in version 1.5 of the Java programming language. The code generated by the compiler takes care of copying the array reference and the array length to local variables, making it a good choice for walking through all elements of an array. It does generate an extra local load/store in the main loop (apparently preserving "a"), making it a teensy bit slower and 4 bytes longer than one().

To summarize all that a bit more clearly: enhanced for loop syntax performs well with arrays, but be cautious when using it with Iterable objects since there is additional object creation.

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